May 23, 2014

THURSDAY NIGHT BOX OFFICE: “X-Men” Marks Weekend Spot With $8.1M


X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (20th) began with a bang last night, earning $8.1M from Thursday night shows.  Although that’s less than Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($10.2M), Godzilla ($9.3M), and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($8.7M), Fox decided to forego some of its Thursday night potential (presumably to provide extra oomph on Friday) by not opening X-Men until 10PM, while the other 3 all started at 7-8PM, giving them extra shows.  In addition, X-Men is the only one of the quartet not playing in IMAX, lowering its average ticket price–especially for those opening night shows, which tend to be attended by enthusiasts who willingly pay the extra freight for the super-sized screens.  Days of Future Past more than doubled the $4M Thursday night take (also at 10PM) for last year’s The Wolverine, which opened (on a 3-day weekend) with $53.1M.

It all puts X-Men on target for what’s expected to be at least $100M between now and Monday night, and possibly as high as $120M.  The goal Fox would really like to hit is $123M, which would top X-Men: The Last Stand as the biggest opening in franchise history, but the fact that Godzilla will still be selling plenty of tickets this weekend (it’s at $117.4M after 7 days, and earned $4.6M on Thursday) may keep that from happening.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."